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Korea’s FKI to Urge Government to Take Tough Measures Against Strike

Asia Pulse, Wednesday 13 June 2001, 10:08 AM

SEOUL, June 13 Asia Pulse—The Federation of Korean Industries [FKI] said Wednesday it will call on the government to take stern measures against the strike by unionized airline and hospital employees.

The big-business lobbying group will issue the plea following a regular meeting of its leaders Thursday.

The group will call for an immediate halt to the strikes, warning that they threaten the country’s efforts to secure an economic recovery.

Unions at the nation’s two air carriers Korean Air and Asiana Airlines began a general strike Tuesday, forcing the cancellation of over half their flights.

Earlier in the day, unions at eight general hospitals went on strike after talks to secure higher pay and better working conditions failed to produce a settlement.

FKI leaders also plan to invite Commerce, Industry and Energy Minister Chang Che-shik to a dinner meeting Thursday to discuss ways to deal with the strikers.

The meeting is expected to be attended by ten FKI leaders, including SK Group Chairman Son Kil-seung and Doosan Group Chairman Park Yong-oh.

In the same day, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued a statement pressing the government to dispatch riot police to companies where workers are holding sit-ins as a show of force against illegal strikes.

The government labels the strikes unlawful because the unions failed to go through mandatory arbitration first. The unions say they cannot get a fair hearing before the arbitration board.